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International Day of Happiness: Why not chase happiness – a guide

International Day of Happiness: Why not chase happiness – a guide

Please be happy. It’s up to you. You just have to want it, strive for it, and work for it. Many manuals and seminars like to give specific guidance on how to do a great job luck Find. But the constant pursuit of it can do just the opposite.

For example, social pressure to feel happy can have a negative effect on people. World Already in 2018, I found that people suffer more from failure when their environment instills in them a need for happiness and well-being. The results of the current in the specialized magazine “nature” The published country comparison study is similar: in countries where the social demand for happiness is particularly high, this positive pressure tends to produce negative effects such as depression, anxiety, and stress.

Psychiatrist and neuroscientist Prof. Manfred Spitzer (63) from the University of Ulm also advises against comparing oneself to the successes of others. “It can be frustrating and sad even if there is no real reason for it. Trying to always be the best, the greatest, and the fastest is one recipe for unhappiness.”

If you have a goal to become happier, you automatically monitor the way you achieve that goal, explains psychologist Jens Assendorff. Specifically: You judge your success in the pursuit of happiness. “In doing so, one naturally perceives an unsatisfactory contradiction. The more I pay attention to it and want to force it, the more miserable I become.”

In the course of his scientific career, the expert dealt extensively with the development of human personality. “About half of personality is genetically determined,” he says. According to the psychologist, when people ask themselves how happy they are, “social comparisons” come into play. Compare your situation with that of people of the same age and education level who you think you know are happy.

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Breaking free from social pressures is not easy. Assendorff says that even a few things help you become happier. “For example, if social extroversion is seen as desirable, but you have an introverted personality, striving to be more extroverted will not make you happier. Instead, by recognizing the positive aspects of your introversion and being honest with them.”

However, trying to make friends with your character does not rule out changes. However, one should approach this in a more playful way, says the psychologist. And above all not according to scheme F in the book of advice: “If I did this, this and that (differently) than today, I would be much happier.” It is better to try something new, for example, without attaching specific expectations to it.

From the philosopher’s point of view, Wilhelm Schmid strives luck Anyway the wrong approach: “Life is not like that”. Nobody is happy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Instead, it is helpful to look away from happiness to something else: the meaning of one’s life. “Happiness is fickle, and the meaning is more permanent.”